The Academy of Masonic Knowledge reserves the right to make changes in all manuals, publications, book lists, catalogs and policies affecting the certification program as may be required, necessary, and appropriate.
Who may participate?
All Pennsylvania Master Masons are eligible to participate in the Master Masonic Scholar program. All Pennsylvania Masons (EA, FC and MM) and their guests may attend Academy Symposia. Registration and membership are free of charge.
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Privacy of Study Records
All student records in the possession of the Academy are considered property of the Grand Lodge and are treated confidentially. Records will not be released to outside persons or agencies unless a request is made by the student.
Academic documents become the property of the Grand Lodge and may be used, with permission, for further academic and research purposes.
The Academy offers a number of programs and resources for Masonic development. One of those programs is the Master Masonic Scholar program (MMSP).
Like other scholarship programs, the MMSP relies on the integrity of Brethren participating in the program. Integrity, demonstrated by attributes such as personal honesty and responsibility, is vital to successful scholarship.
As Brethren develop (research, write) elements of the MMSP (such as book/article evaluations, publishable articles, level three scholarship papers, among others) it is imperative that all sources used in that development and writing be acknowledged. Such acknowledgement includes (but not necessarily limited to) accurately reporting consulting others (personal communications), sources from the literature (citations) and knowledge aides such as ChatGPT (clear indication of what has been used/included in the written work).
All submissions to the MMSP mentor must be accompanied by an Academy cover sheet. By including the cover sheet, Brethren state the submission is the product of their own work.
Students may be dismissed from the certification program for the following reasons:
- Demonstrating consistent low academic achievement in their work
- Inactivity in the Masonic Scholar Certification program for two years. This portion of the policy remains in effect until December 31, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2024, inactivity is limited to 1 year. See the following section labeled “Inactivity.”
- Participating in unethical conduct or academic dishonesty
The scholar’s program is one that relies on communication between a Brother and their assigned mentor. A participating Brother may withdraw from the program at any time by informing their assigned mentor by email or phone. If MEU credits were earned, that Brother’s record will be maintained in a tracking database (inactive). If they re-enroll in the Academy, they may pick up where they left off. If no MEU credits were earned, that Brother’s information is dropped from the tracking database. If the Brother re-enrolls, they will re-start the program.
Beginning January 1, 2024, mentors will review the tracking spreadsheet every 6 months. When assigned scholars have been inactive for a period of 6 months, the mentor will send an email stating that, according to Academy policy, if they do not submit work within 1 year of enrolling, they will be dismissed from the program. To re-start, a brother would need to re-enroll. If reinstated, the brother would continue where they left off. If MEU’s have been earned, that information is retained in the tracking spreadsheet (inactive). If no MEUs were earned, the brother’s information is removed from the tracking spreadsheet.
A student who has been dismissed from the certification program may be considered for reinstatement if he demonstrates to the Committee that prior academic problems have been remedied and that he is prepared to resume proper participation.
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Students successfully completing all requirements for each level of certification will be awarded a certificate signifying their level of Masonic education achievement.
The certification curriculum has been carefully designed by the Committee of Masonic Knowledge to offer a wide variety of subjects that may to be studied and that will meet the ever-changing needs of today’s Mason. There are three levels of certification. These levels are designed in such a way that one level of certification will build upon the knowledge gained in the preceding one. We encourage you to take notes or make notations on important topics and issues as you study or participate in Masonic Education Unit earning tasks. This will assist you in compiling your Evaluation Reports.
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Obtaining Recommended Books
Copies of the required and elective books are generally available from the following sources:
- Grand Lodge Library
- Lodge libraries
- Local libraries
- Masonic book and supply sources
- Local book stores
- Private libraries
Book Evaluation Report
When you complete a book or other credit earning activity, you will compile an Evaluation Report and submit it to the program.
An Evaluation Report is required for each Masonic Education Unit awarded. An Evaluation Report is not a book report. The purpose of the report is to demonstrate that you have achieved a comprehensive understanding of the material covered as well as made an educated evaluation of the material including its credibility and its impact on you. The intention of the report is to permit maximum range of expression; you may relate each activity to your field of interest, your profession, or to current issues. This approach permits flexibility to analyze the materials from many different perspectives. You may augment the Evaluation Report with supplemental readings or personal knowledge.
While the recommended books are comprehensive in nature, they may not always cover recent developments or be as specific as you may like. In these cases, and anytime you deem it necessary, you are encouraged to discover and use new reference material. This is particularly recommended for the second and third levels of certification. Additional references will tend to enhance your report. Any additional references, as well as those coming from the assigned and recommended texts should be in a reference list.
Evaluation Report Contents
The Evaluation Report should include as many of the following elements as possible:
An evaluation of the book or task performed Knowledge gained from the reading or activity
A discussion of at least one significant Masonic issue as it relates to the concepts and principles presented in the text or to the activity performed. An analysis of concepts and principles from the text or activity as they relate to present-day Freemasonry. (The purpose is to relate the author’s concepts to practical problems.)
There is no ideal or required length for the Evaluation Report. The report should be concise yet long enough to evaluate the text or activity fairly and completely.
Final Research Paper
(required for Master Masonic Scholar certification)
This is a requirement for certification as a Master Masonic Scholar. The final paper is the last step in completing the requirements for Master Masonic Scholar certification. It must demonstrate that you have achieved specialized knowledge in a selected area of Freemasonry. Further, it must be original and generated specifically for the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Written work completed before the participant’s registration date will not be accepted. Optimally, the paper will have applications beyond your research, and you are encouraged to craft your work with this in mind. Inclusion of your opinions developed while performing the research for your paper is recommended and encouraged.
The final paper should demonstrate:
- The ability to express ideas – both yours and those of others – clearly, correctly, and efficiently, and to convey these concepts to other Freemasons
- The ability to discover and utilize information from various sources such as libraries, known authorities, newspapers, magazines, and periodicals
- Skill and ingenuity in locating collateral sources yielding additional pertinent information
- Skill in selecting, from all materials available, those facts and ideas that are pertinent to the subject matter of the paper
- The ability to organize and document information properly, and to present it clearly, correctly, effectively, and logically, with respect to grammar, punctuation and spelling
The final paper is an accumulation of what you have learned in your Masonic study, experience, and research.
It is highly recommended that you work closely with your Academy mentor to develop a suitable topic as well as when writing the paper.
It is strongly suggested that all approved level three research papers be submitted to the Academy secretary for archiving at the Grand Lodge Library website.